Dean Barker interview - pt1

James Boyd caught up with Team New Zealand's skipper at the Swedish Match Cup
If there is one man in this forthcoming America's Cup who is feeling the weight of responsibility thanks to the expectations of a nation riding upon his success, it is Team New Zealand skipper Dean Barker. The exodus of many of Team New Zealand's key players to highly paid positions in foreign challenges, included skipper Russell Coutts and deputy Brad Butterworth, both now with Ernesto Bertarelli's impressive Alinghi campaign in Switzerland. Now instead of having Coutts as his training partner, Barker finds himself racing in anger against his erstwhile mentor. After a blip earlier in the season, the last two match racing events in the calendar have seen Barker in blinding form, unceremoniously dispatching his old boss most recently with a 3-0 hammering in the final of the Swedish Match Cup in Marstrand. madfor sailing caught up with Barker in Marstrand at the weekend. For someone whose head 3.5 million Kiwis will want on a plate should he lose the Cup next February, Dean Barker seems very relaxed. Before me is a 29 year old, with piercing blue eyes, who for some reason reminds me facially of Art Garfunkel, but without the curly hair and abnormally high fringe. This is the man who over the next few months will be getting more publicity in New Zealand than the country's premier. madforsailing: So what's it like having to line up against Russell Coutts as an opponent? Dean Barker: We love racing against him because you know the racing is always going to be good. We've raced against each other a lot, all through the last America's Cup campaign and it feels like you're racing against your teammates or your friends. It's always good fun. We had a really good series against him in Trieste. And you have to be at